Open spots remain on eve of meets
Rutgers head wrestling coach Scott Goodale knows what the momentum boost facing the Scarlet Knights gives to Princeton and Rider.
“It’s a heated rivalry [for both schools]. They think they can win every year and challenge our guys every year,” Goodale said. “We’ve been fortunate since I’ve been here to win other than my first year. We’re going to have to wrestle really, really hard.”
Senior 157-pounder Scott Winston was a little more confident in his predictions for him and his teammates.
“Our expectations are to dominate both teams at every weight class,” Winston said. “They’re both New Jersey teams, and we want to be the best team in New Jersey for sure.”
Rutgers hosts Princeton and Rider tomorrow night at the College Avenue Gym in only its second home dual meet of the season.
While the Knights will be favored against both teams, there are still lineup questions Goodale wants to answer before Rutgers enters the bulk of its schedule.
One of those lies at 165 pounds, where sophomores Nick Visicaro and Anthony Volpe have failed to secure the starting role.
Both have split time, but whoever gets the nod tomorrow earns an immediate test thanks to Rider’s Ramon Santiago.
Santiago is 11-1 this season and ranks No. 15 in his weight class, according to Amature Wrestling News.
“It’s important to see some light at 165,” Goodale said. “We need somebody to step up and widen the gap there.”
Goodale also wants to see more consistency from 197 pounds, the other contested lineup spot.
Junior Dan Siedenburg will start tomorrow after being sidelined with an injury.
With Siedenburg out, Goodale threw freshman Hayden Hrymack into the lineup Nov. 24 at the Northeast Duals, where he went 0-3 against Columbia, Binghamton and Army.
Siedenburg gives Rutgers its best chance at 197 pounds.
“We have to start winning at 197,” Goodale said. “[Siedenburg has] been banged up, but we need to win there. We need to start winning at that weight to have a very successful year.”
One position in question earlier in the season because of injury was at 133 pounds, but the emergence of junior Vincent Dellefave impressed Goodale.
After moving up a weight class this season from 125 pounds, the Toms River, N.J., native has quietly been consistent thus far.
Dellefave went 4-2 at the Nittany Lion Open on Sunday and captured three wins at the Northeast Duals.
Dellefave feels more comfortable with his new competing weight.
“I don’t miss too many meals anymore,” Dellefave said. “I’m not worried about the scale, and I can just worry about my technique and wrestling hard. I can just train right through the week.”
Dellefave and Winston both agreed that if everyone wrestles to their full potential, there should be no problems against their New Jersey foes.
But Goodale does not want them to treat the match any differently.
After all, state bragging rights are on the line.
“Anytime you wrestle and take the mat, there is an importance to win the dual meet,” Goodale said. “It’s an in-state thing and that’s what fires us up about it.”
For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow Bradly Derechailo on Twitter @BradlyDTargum.